Monday, August 29, 2005

Somebody's got a case of the Mondays...

…and it’s lasted for like a week.

Straight up, I’m a mess. Work sucks more than usual, mostly because we’re living in a constant state of “will we/won’t we.” Meaning will we or won’t we continue to exist. Which of course means that the same questions are applied to my job – will I have one? Won’t I? Who the fuck knows.

Of course, then I start to worry about finding a new job. I know I could easily find A job, but the problem becomes finding a job that will pay the bills. I mean, none of us WANT the organization to go under, but my boss is wealthy, and so she’ll be fine. Marlene would maybe be ok, because at least she has a husband whose income they can fall back on. Me? I got nothin’. I mean, nothin’ besides a mortgage and the usual bills associated with living alone. I would fall back on my Imaginary Boyfriend, however, his imaginary job pays him imaginary money, which we’ve found is NOT accepted at most places. See how I can maybe come up with a sad little lame joke through all of the crying?

Yes, crying. I’m one of those people who cries for pretty much every occasion. Happy, sad, scared, confused, mad, anxious – there’s gonna be crying. I used to give Beth the hardest time in elementary school because she cried all the time. And now, who’s the big baby? Yup – it’s me.

The stupid part about all this is that I always hate being “that girl.” That girl who has a ton of great things in her life but is all “waaaahhhhh things aren’t going my way right this very minute.” I do NOT like that girl. I hate being that girl who cries if someone looks at her wrong, because I’m not one who likes to let EVERYONE see that I’m not happy. I know, from this post, you wouldn’t know it, right?

I’m basically writing this because this stupid situation and all of its octopus arms has consumed my life for over a week now. You know, octopus arms? When one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong? Work is miserable. I have to struggle to make it here so I can sit in my office and send out resumes and deal with the palpable cloud of depression that threatens to choke all of us. And yet, I also have to pretend that everything is fine JUST FINE, DAMMIT. I don’t want to talk to anyone and I don’t want to see anyone. I’d really just prefer to stay in my pajamas on my couch watching t.v. all day, so if someone could arrange that for me while still making sure the bills got paid, well, THAT would be GREAT.

And while being alone really doesn't bother me most of the time, it's times like this when I wish that I had a boyfriend to be here and be supportive and just be a warm body to snuggle up to when I feel like I do right now.

And so ends the pathetic blog pity party where I've shown everyone my completely weak side. Great. Yes, much to my chagrin, today, I’m “that girl.” Ugh.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Questions for the Monsters of Rock

Since I am always making my next great mix, I decided the other day that I needed to make an “80s/90s Hair Band/Metal” mix. It was fun. However, while listening to the songs, I came up with some questions for the bands. Here they are, in no particular order:

Motley Crue -- “He’s the one they call Dr. Feelgood, he’s the one to make you feel all right!” So this Dr. Feelgood – exactly what sort of doctor is he? Is he licensed? If he’s going to do some of the things that you claim he is, wouldn’t that be violating some sort of doctor/patient boundary stuff? Not to mention a few DEA-related laws? And to take it one step further, if he is, as they say, going to “be my Frankenstein,” why, exactly, is that something I would allegedly like? Because I’m just not one to have green monsters created from various corpses and reanimated as my primary care physician. It’s just a thing I have.

Van Halen -- You seem confused. First it’s “how do I know when it’s love?” and then you answer your own question with “I can’t tell you but it lasts forever.” Then, in another song, you say “it’s got what it takes, so tell me why can’t this be love?” Ok. Clearly you have no clue what love is. I’m confused even thinking about it. However, I will cut you some slack because I what I do know is that I love those songs.

Axl Rose – have you sued your plastic surgeon for malpractice yet? If not, you should. You're going to need the money, since you're getting sued by Slash and Duff.

Aerosmith – after listening to the chorus of “Love in an Elevator,” well, um, why don’t you just let me know what elevator you’re going to be on so I can make appropriate plans. Thanks.

Warrant -- While it sounds like a fun place, I’d like to know where specifically do the “Down Boys” go? Is it on Google maps? Because sometimes I’m not great with directions. Also, good work on "Cherry Pie." Although the title-as-metaphor is blatantly obvious, I like the part about thinking about baseball. Heh.

Def Leppard – Were you drunk when you wrote “Pour some sugar on me?” Because while I absolutely adore that song and will listen to it at a ridiculously high volume in my car, the lyrics make no sense. At all. There’s some talk about mannequins and mirrors and traffic lights and operators, all which have nothing to do with pouring sugar on you. Which I’m also going to assume is a metaphor for something involving the tired euphemism of “peaches and cream,” which you also used. As a side note, I recently found out that the classic rock station now plays this song. Classic rock? C’mon – this song came out when I was going into 7th grade – THAT is not CLASSIC.

I have more questions, but I think that will suffice for now.

Grocery Shopping in a Parallel Blogoverse

Ok, so I just had the most surreal experience EVER at the grocery store. I was walking around, after telling myself I was there for two things -- TWO, but I was just browsing, you know. Anyway, I notice that the music playing is "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" by Elton John, which was the title of Dasi's blog entry today. Coincidental, yes, but not too weird.

Then, I'm standing in line, and I look at the nametag of the checker. It's Derik -- which reminded me of Paul's blog entry today about names and the spelling of them. Uh, ok, another total coincidence, but whatever. A little weird maybe. And by the way, Derik's parents? He's cute but why would you do that to him? The way you spell it is D-e-r-e-k.

And finally, as I'm standing in line, I'm looking around at other people because I like to people watch, and who do I see in the lane next to me? Tattoo Sleeve Boy, otherwise known as "Example 1" in my post about how I attract desperate losers. What the hell? I've never seen that guy anywhere (maybe he just wasn't hiding well enough this time) and today -- there he is. My first reaction was to duck behind the rack of gum, and I did, but then I felt stupid and just turned around so he wouldn't see me. Luckily, he was gone when I turned around to leave, but then he was outside the door unlocking his bike. I just put my sunglasses on and walked really fast to my car. Awkward situation: Averted. Third blog coincidence? Very weird.

Am I crazy? Is that weird, or does it just mean that I read too many blogs? Next thing you know, one of the people whose blog I read will be calling me out of the blue. Like maybe Kendra. Ok, maybe that would neither be weird nor out of the blue, because she calls me every day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Coming out of the woodwork

I saw Gene Simmons from KISS the other night. I was at a party at the Marriott, and I heard he was in the bar, but as I was busy having some vodka tonics at the OTHER bar, I did not see him. However, when I was leaving, I looked over at the concierge desk, and there he was, using the computer. He’s scary. When I was little, I was deathly afraid of KISS because of the frightening hair and makeup and possibly the outfits. They may have looked a little too much like clowns to me, and I HATE CLOWNS! Now he’s just scary because he’s old, but he does have nice teeth. I’m sure he’s a very nice man. He certainly is a hell of a businessman. Anyway, that was my brush with fame.

So I can’t remember if I said this already, but I got a second job. Because I just didn’t have enough to do. It’s very part time – like 10 hours a week – not overly demanding, and I figure I could use the extra cash. I am now the Education Director at my church, which means I’m in charge of getting volunteers to teach Sunday School every week. This should not be difficult, because we have a ton of kids who have parents and grandparents who are willing to help, and also, I know everyone and will make them feel reeeeally bad if they don’t help. Because that’s the Christian thing to do, right?

Unfortunately, the people who have been volunteering to help have been primarily crazies. First is the creepiest guy ever. He’s not creepy in a “serial rapist and/or pedophile” way, he’s just creepy in an “I’m almost 40, I live with my mother and have absolutely zero social skills” kind of way. He’s the kind of guy who, if he wants to talk to you, will come up to you while you’re chatting with someone else and stand there until it’s impossible for you and the person you’re talking to to ignore him anymore. He’s a lurker, a skulker and a close talker, plus, he dresses in the strangest outfits. Like I said, he’s harmless, but weird all the same. So the day I announce that we need volunteers, he catches me out in the parking lot. Luckily, I was with Dane, and so it was markedly less “wheird.” His mom pulls up in their car and rolls down her window and he leans over from the passenger side to tell me he would volunteer. So I was like “Great! I’ll definitely keep you in mind!” while thinking “Oh No. Ohnonononononono.” So normally, people would be like “Ok, great, just let me know!” No sir, not him. His mom starts talking to Dane and so the guy gets out of the car and comes around to talk to me. He’s like “Icould help with cooking. Or science. Or games. Or computers.” It went on like that, and he reminds me of a more annoying version of Milton from “Office Space.” I know, it’s horrible, but I seriously could not get out of there fast enough. Needless to say, I don’t think the parents would respond well to his teaching a class. I feel bad, I really do, because he just wants to help. But it’s so unbelievably awkward to be around him at all EVER, and I think the little kids might be alarmed by him. Not in a scary KISS sort of way, but awkward all the same. The second crazy is this woman who is now basically stalking me. She called me three times last week and then I’ve heard from her every day for the past four days. I got home from work last night and there was a message from her on my machine. So I listened for a minute, got bored, went in my room, changed my clothes, hung up my work stuff, came back out, and she was still talking. I wanted to say something like “oh for C*****’s sake,” but figured that was probably not the best choice of words for this particular situation. So instead, I apologized to the cats for making them listen to it twice, because it was soooo looong. And she talks in a really whiny monotone, if you can imagine that. She appears to think that deciding whether to teach for 50 minutes for three Sundays is a life changing, earth shattering decision. And also she’s lonely and has a desperate need for attention. I’m thinking I’m going to skip her as a teacher as well. Beggars can’t be choosers, they say? Oh, I beg to differ.

The whole experience reminds me of my favorite line in “Shanghai Noon” where Owen Wilson says “I may not know karate, but I know ka-razy, and I’m not afraid to use it!” It’s true. I also know ka-razy, and I have a feeling I’ll have to break it out soon to deal with these people.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

By Popular Demand...

...I bring you Bachelor #2.

I was on the dating website one day, and I got an email. It said “Do you or did you work at Acme?” (which is, obviously, not the company's real name). It freaked me out a little, because Acme is the place where we lease space, and it is HUGE. Who on earth would know me enough to recognize me from a picture, but not enough to talk to me when I'm at work? I looked closer at the picture, and figured it out.

When we moved in, we had a lot of cubicle rearranging to do. We have floor to ceiling cubes with doors, and so it’s quite the process to move stuff. This guy – let’s call him Construction Boyfriend – was one of the contractors who did the moving. Because we had so much to do, he was around a lot. We got to be friends because he was cute and SO funny. He would do extra stuff for us, and Marlene would buy him beer. He figured me out right away, and used to tease me about how high maintenance I was. Anyway, he had recently started his own construction business, and so once summer rolled around, he left and went to work for himself. That was almost three years ago.

I replied, and we went out for beers that weekend. It was awesome, because we sat and talked forever and there was never any awkwardness. We laughed a lot and it was really as if no time had passed. It was a great evening, which ended with us hanging out at my house, drinking beer, talking and listening to music until we were both almost asleep. Ever the gentleman, when he left, he kissed me on the forehead and covered me with a blanket.

So we started talking more. Unlike some people, he is a phone person and likes to talk every day. He calls me and returns my calls promptly and we always have stuff to talk about. I can tell him the stupidest stories about my day – and believe me, I have a lot of stupid stories – and he really listens and he laughs and gives me a hard time if I deserve it. It’s a fine line, you know – funny hard time vs. mean hard time – and he’s never mean.

He makes me laugh. He’s tall. He works really hard. He is so sweet. He fixes stuff and builds stuff, and I love that. He’s a strong person, but not to the point where he won’t accept help if he needs it. I know a lot about him, because he always answers my questions and he tells me all kinds of stuff. Even, sometimes, secrets. When he hugs me, he lays his cheek on the top of my head. He tells me I look cute in a baseball hat and my glasses. He’s a music geek like I am, and when I played him a recording of me singing, he asked me for a copy because he thinks it’s “soothing.” He doesn’t get annoyed when I get excited about watching “Tommy Boy” for the first time in years and keep blurting out lines from the movie and then apologizing. He’ll drive an hour to see me at 9 on a Friday night, on the spur of the moment, because he wants to see me. He’ll drive an hour to see me on a Sunday night after he’s been at a wedding extravaganza in the mountains all weekend and is totally hung over, but he wants to see me and because he told me before he left that we’d do something on Sunday when he got back. So obviously, he follows through and is true to his word.

I know. Doesn’t he sound great? He really is. The catch is that I don’t know whether he wants this to be a “girlfriend” situation or a “girl friend” situation. I’m not going to ask him, because I’m not that girl who always has to have the “where are we” talk after like a month, and because I know that he has stuff going on in his life that takes priority over me or us. And that’s fine. For now, I just like spending time with him and no matter what ends up happening, I’m happy that he’s in my life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

He got game, part deux

Ok, so Monday night I’m making dinner and History Boy calls. He says he’s on his way to an appointment, but that he wondered if I could meet him at his place for drinks at 8:30. I sort of responded unenthusiastically, but said I would. I could tell by the tone of his voice that something was up, and it was at that moment I was sure I was getting the big blow off.

I showed up at his house, and much to my surprise, he had stopped and gotten wine – two bottles, because he knows I like white wine better than red. Stock: rising, ever so slightly. We got our glasses and went out on his patio. Hanging out, talking, drinking wine – it was all very “the usual” but finally I was like “so what did you want to tell me?” He looked surprised for a second and said “What?” I said “You want to tell me something, right?” And he said “Yeah – I do. It’s nothing big though.” To which I was thinking “either he’s NOT blowing me off or he thinks that telling me we shouldn’t see each other any more is ‘nothing big.’”

He stumbles around trying to phrase what he wants to say (which again I’m thinking canNOT bode well) and finally comes out with it. And it’s pretty much exactly what I said it was in Monday’s post. He was like “I’m not in a position right now where I’m ready for a serious relationship, and I don’t want to lead you on into thinking that I am. I think we could maybe have a future and so I want to be honest with you about that.” I was like “I’m not trying to be all ‘oh, this is getting serious’ or ‘hey, I’m your girlfriend’ because I really don’t feel that way.” So we went on and discussed the stuff I wanted to, and I can’t believe I was right about so much stuff. That NEVER happens. I was right about the phone thing – he thought that the fact that I’d call him or send him text messages was because I was getting all girlfriendy, and so I set him straight on that. I was right about his connotation of the whole “what are you doing?” and I say “nothing” conversation, and so I set him straight in that regard too. I told him that while I do not expect to be at the top of his priority list, I also have expectations. Don’t call me at the end of the week to tell me you want to see me, but that you have too many other plans. Don’t mention that you want to see me on such and such a day and then not call on said day. I told him that I was irritated by those things, and he understood that. Once I explained that I wasn’t trying to trap him into being the father of my children – RIGHT THIS MINUTE, he started to relax a little.

You see, it seems that his last girlfriend was a bit of a psycho. If by “a bit” you mean “a raving lunatic who he once had to call the police on.” She was really controlling and jealous and would snoop through his stuff trying to find out what he wasn’t telling her. So now that he’s out of that, he is going to the other extreme and doing exactly what he wants, when he wants. And that includes freaking out a little if he thinks by my calling or wanting to know things like, oh, if we have plans, I want to control what he does. Which I don’t, obviously. And which I reiterated to him. More than once.

So when I left, I feel like things were resolved – for now. It was established that he likes me, I like him, we like spending time together and therefore we will continue to do so. And I told him that drama and game is NOT something I’m the least bit interested in.
That being said, I also will NOT be calling or sending him any messages – he says he wants me to, and that he likes them, but for right now, he can like the memory of them. If he wants to see me, that’s fine, I’ll see him and not play the game of “oh maybe, if I’m available,” because that’s stupid and pointless. But I also won’t change my plans for him. I told him I’m pretty mellow as long as he’s up front with me and tells me what’s going on. Because the stuff I make up in my head is usually about 85 times worse than the real thing, no question.

I’m pretty good about giving people the benefit of the doubt, maybe to a fault. If I feel that someone’s good qualities outweigh the bad and that the reason(s) behind their behavior is due to a recent experience, well, I’ll cut them some slack. History Boy still has some slack left. For now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ode to Big Blonde Boyfriend

So there’s a guy that I know by the name of Big Blonde Boyfriend. Obviously, not his real name, but a very apt descriptor. He’s really tall and blonde (duh), and has really pretty green-blue eyes. He’s also a body builder, and not the kind that when you see them you’re like “Ew, please put your clothes on” but the kind where you say “Hi, um, please take your clothes off. Faster.” Although to be honest, he looks really great in his clothes. I’ve only ever seen him in a suit, and his ties always match nicely and his suits fit perfectly – he obviously has them tailored because, seriously, the broad shoulders? Nice.

I’ve known him for three years, and have had a huge crush on him for all three. I have email correspondences back and forth between us of the sort that when I read them I end up doing the silent hysterical laugh because he is SO FUNNY. Not only that, he also has two Master’s degrees and is working on a Ph.D. So yeah, he’s ok if you like that kind of guy – you know, the funny, smart gorgeous kind with the unbelievable body. Oh how I like that kind of guy.

Anyway, today my company is hosting this Homeland Security-related meeting, and since this is his area of expertise (or one of them, at least) he’s here, along with a bunch of other people. As I’m checking people in this morning, here comes this super-creepy guy. He immediately introduces himself to me and starts talking about something which I have no idea what it is because I was fighting the urge to shiver because I had the heebie-jeebies so bad, and then he says “I like your name.” Uh, thanks, and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Get me out of here!! Also, what? Luckily, he left and went into the meeting.

During the break right before lunch he walks in and says to Marlene and I “Can one of you ladies help me arrange transportation back to my hotel?” only when he says it, he’s staring right at me in that scary way. I say “Marlene can help you” and then bolt out of there. She and I were sitting out in the lobby later and I was like “See, I TOLD you he was creepy.” And she said “Yeah – especially since he already HAS transportation back to his hotel – with the same people who he rode over with this morning – I think he just wanted you to offer to drive him.” Gack. GACK! Then she says “Why don’t you tell him that your boyfriend will drop him off and then pretend Big Blonde Boyfriend is your boyfriend?” I was like “THAT is a GREAT idea.” And we laughed.

Pretty soon, here comes Big Blonde Boyfriend, and Marlene says “Hey – do you want to play boyfriend for Amber? There’s a creepy guy in there who keeps talking to her.” He laughed and I said “I’m not kidding – he said ‘I like your name.’” Big Blonde Boyfriend cracks up and says “Like the guy in ‘Sling Blade?’ You know, ‘I like the way you talk, mmhmm.’” And I said “Exactly. But much creepier.” So Big Blonde Boyfriend sits down and we start talking.

Inevitably, here comes Creepy Guy, and I say under my breath “There he is – thereheis!” And so now Big Blonde Boyfriend has a visual. Creepy Guy skulks around in our vicinity, waiting for me to look up and acknowledge him, which I am NOT going to do, and then he leaves. He comes back a few minutes later and skulks some more until he realizes that I’m NOT going to look at him and Big Blond Boyfriend is NOT going to look at him OR vacate his spot. Eventually, he leaves again. And my adorable Big Blonde Boyfriend stayed there until everyone went back into the meeting, just to make sure.

Oh, and as a disclaimer, unfortunately, Big Blonde Boyfriend is not Bachelor #2. However, if he happened to be interested, the Bachelor #3 spot is still open…

Monday, August 15, 2005

He got game

Ok, so I know they call this ridiculous situation I’m in the dating “game,” but I’d like to amend that order to “dating, minus the game.” I'd also like my salad dressing on the side, if you could.

I know, everyone says that they just want a relationship with no games and no drama. If that’s really the case, then please, for the love of god, STOP RUNNING GAME. If you like me, great, let’s hang out. If not, great, just tell me so I can stop wondering if you’re going to call. I’m not a fragile flower whose world will crumble if things between us don’t work out. I cry every week at “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” but if you’re going to continue to be a jackass, trust me, I won’t be crying when you’re gone.

Now, the reason I say this is that History Boy is playing some sort of game. We have a good time together, things are decidedly less awkward than at the beginning and seem to get better as time goes on. However, he does stuff that seems like he’s not that into me. Yes, I’ve read the book. For example, he puts off making weekend plans with me. Like this -- we were supposed to go out the night before he went to London, and he told me early in the week that it might not work out because his parents were coming in that evening and staying with him. So Friday morning he says he’s still not sure when they’re getting there, but he’ll call me as soon as he knows. He called at almost 7, and it was to tell me that he couldn’t go out. Whatever – I totally knew that would happen and so I was already two glasses of wine into a great evening at Sally & Joe’s. But it was irritating for two reasons – one is that you better not think I’m going to be cool with you blowing me off at 7 on a Friday evening, because that’s just rude, and two, if you liked someone, wouldn’t you want to see them before you left town for a week? Anyway, I decided to wait and see what happened when he got home.

He got back on a Saturday night and called me on Sunday. I saw him that Monday, and we had a good evening. We talked via text on Tuesday, and then he called me on Thursday night to tell me that he wanted to see me over the weekend, but that he had plans on Friday and Saturday -- maybe Sunday would work? Ok, fine, but again, pushing the envelope with the Thursday night call. He actually ended up coming over Friday night and we hung out and then fell asleep until about noon on Saturday. He left, things were great, not “wheird” at all, and I haven’t heard from him since. I sent him a text on Saturday night to see if we were going to do something Sunday, and I STILL haven’t heard from him.

Mind you, I’m not upset about this – I’m not like “what if he doesn’t call, what if he doesn’t like me” because I know he’ll call. I’m irritated because he seems to think that this sort of behavior is just fine. It’s not. Dude, here’s the thing. I realize that your job is demanding – you just started at a private law firm, they expect you to put in the hours, fine, whatever. I know we’re just “dating” and therefore I don’t expect to be put at the top of your list of priorities. But I also think we need to have a little sit-down about the basic expectations around common courtesy. I like to talk on the phone – I talk to my friends pretty much every day, even if it’s just a message or a quick “hey, what’s up?” If you aren’t the every day checker-in guy, all you have to do is tell me and I’ll be fine with that. Do I want to see you? Sure. Are you worried that if we talk or see each other too much, I might think that we’re dating exclusively? Because if that’s the case, maybe I should let you know – I’m also dating someone else. Are you worried that when I say I’m not doing anything on Saturday night it’s because I’m lonely and sad and have nothing to do? Actually, it’s because I just haven’t figured out what I’m doing. Ask Kendra – whenever she asks what I’m doing, I always say “nothing.” Are you scared that I might be getting emotionally attached to you because I’m a girl and that’s what girls do? Uh, no. Remember how I told you that I’ve dated a lot of jerks in the recent past and so I have the guard up pretty high? It’s still up. And you have the added bonus of screwing me over before, and while I’m not holding that against you, I’m also being pretty cautious, just in case.

I’m not trying to have the whole “where do we stand” relationship talk – I don’t want or need that, because I’m still not sure if I have potential long-term feelings for him. I mean, I do like him, but it’s only been about a month, and I also couldn’t make a decision right now as to which of the two boys I like more. In fact, if this game continues, he’s going to keep plummeting in my mental ratings, while Boy 2’s stock is on the way up. All I’m asking is for a little bit more consideration in the respect and common courtesy department. Am I right? Am I wrong?

Oh, and also, you might check out my stick drawing of Alice getting attacked by a rooster...

Friday, August 12, 2005

No, random is NOT my middle name...why do you ask?

So I was doing something online yesterday that required that I enter my home phone number. I totally blanked and had to call my mom and ask what my own phone number was. That’s pretty sad, seeing as I’ve had that same number for the past five years. My mom just sighed and I could hear her rolling her eyes at the other end of the phone.

Remind me never to take “Financial Management for Non-Profits” ever again. Not that I would have to (unless, god forbid, I failed it) but it’s been the most miserable six weeks of my graduate school life, and there’s still two more to go. I’m not going to remember any of this stuff, and so I fear that one day, I’ll be the Executive Director of some non-profit and my accountant will look at me as the Pointy Haired Boss from Dilbert. Because seriously, this class could have been taught in Farsi and I would have probably understood just as much.

It seems like my friends in the blog-world have all had a crappy week. I can’t say that mine has been that bad, but of course there are a few things I wish were better or different. One in particular I wish was SO different, but this is one instance when I realize that I have absolutely no control over what happens, and I have to accept that and do what I can in the meantime. Even if most of the time, I don't know what to do. It goes against every fiber of my being to have to accept that, but I’m making a valiant attempt. And no, it has nothing to do with dealing with horrible spellers or people who insist on saying “ain’t.” Although I’m going to have to come to terms with those things eventually. Just not right now.

Anyway. As a remedy for a crappy day/week/life,
Cheryl recommends drinks and desserts. Kendra recommends vodka, grilled cheese sandwiches, mix cds and cigarettes. MY recommendation is playing in the sandbox.

As you may or may not know, um, my job? Is sometimes not that demanding. To top it off, my boss was out of town this week, meaning I did some art projects, homework for school, stuff related to my recently acquired second job, cd-burning, and other non-work related activities. Yesterday, Marlene’s twin grandsons came to visit us – they are a year and a half old and SO CUTE! We took them over to the mall for lunch and right outside the mall is this huge sandbox – it doubles as an ice rink in the winter. So we’re trying to teach the boys about digging and how the little shovels should be used for that purpose, and not for flinging at other kids. I buried one’s toes in the sand and he was totally laughing. If you aren’t immediately happy when you hear a baby laugh, you clearly have a cold tin heart, because it’s the best thing ever. Between
the digging in the sand and the giggling of the boys as they saw and did all of this stuff that was brand new to them, well, it was a pretty good day.
And in case you haven't figured it out, those are Marlene's grandsons -- Joey on the top and Jakey on the right. Have I mentioned how CUTE they are?

Also, and I know I’ve said this before, but the comfort that comes with hanging out with one of my best friends is something that is always guaranteed to make it all good. My girls kick ass -- no two ways about it -- and I’m lucky to have them. And that's how I spent my Thursday evening.

That being said, tonight I will be having some desserts, some grilled cheese (because I haven’t been to the grocery store and that’s all I have to eat) and maybe some vodka or wine. Or maybe both. Because I’m just that wild.

*This boring blog brought to you by "nothing happening in Amber's World at the current time" -- but seriously, how CUTE are those BOYS??

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Words are my thing -- that's just how it is

I'm a total word nerd. It could stem from the fact that I was an only child until I was eight, and my mom didn't let me watch much t.v., and so I read a lot. It could stem from the fact that I went to the Colorado State Spelling Bee two years in a row, and let's face it, you have to know a LOT of words and how to spell them in order to get there. It could stem from the fact that as a member of the newspaper staff in college, I was a section editor AND a copy editor, and so it's just a habitual nerdiness. It could stem from the fact that my ongoing goal in life is to beat my dad at Scrabble on a regular basis. Who knows, but the fact is, that's just what I am.

Being a total word nerd, I am a snob about certain things. I’ve mentioned my dislike of the use of “ain’t” in conversation, and unless I’m pretending to be an uneducated redneck, I don’t use it. I’ll say pretty much every curse word ever invented (with a few reserved for really SPECIAL occasions or people) but I cannot say “ain’t.” I also don’t like my food to touch and various other food related issues, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, I’ve recently been using the text messaging feature on my phone. I say “recently” as if it’s just been invented, but the truth is, most of the people I talk to leave regular voice mail messages. If we’re in a bar and it’s loud, it doesn’t occur to us to text each other, instead we’ll call and the person on the receiving end is treated to us yelling or something equally as charming.

However, the boy I mentioned in The History of Us is a text messager. He calls, yes, but he text messages me quite a bit as well. And since he is a lawyer, I figure it’s best to text him during the day if I want to tell him something, instead of calling (“Yes, excuse me a second your honor, I have to take this – hi. What? Yes, definitely red. I don’t know, cabernet? Maybe a rioja if they have it. Yeah, Silver Oak is good. Ok, I have to go. See you later. ”).

So, as a word nerd, I have a hard time with the text messaging shorthand. Saying “4” and “2” instead of “for” and “to” is not something I can do. The same way with “u” and “r” – I would rather type out the word, and plus, with predictive text, it’s not that difficult. If you want to use that shorthand, that’s your deal, but you will be getting complete, actual words from me.

Last night was a good (if sad) example of the extent of the nerdiness. I think I may be the only person in the history of text messaging to use the word “presumptuous.” And I’m here to tell you, there’s no predictive text in the phone memory for that word.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Me! Me! It's all about Me!

Here I am one morning holding a ton of clover the kids were picking. There was some sort of moral to this activity, but I'm not sure what it was. It was pretty early still.
Here's me and my boy Dane. I love this kid. He's going to be a senior this year, and I would have to say he's about my favorite in the whole group. I couldn't stand him when I met him when he was a freshman, and I wondered how I was going to survive dealing with him for four years, but now I'm wondering what I'll do without him when he graduates. He's like my little brother (and by little I mean in age, since he's almost a foot taller than me). He's the sweetest. In this picture, we're at campfire and we have our "game face" on. We've been trying to get the perfect picture this year, because he wants me to put a dedication in his yearbook, therefore, every time a camera is in the vicinity, we put on our game face. Also, we're big camera hams.

Fun with Water Balloons

After the Yuck Olympics, there was some launching of water ballons at each other. One group had really good luck with hitting the other team, one did not. The one that didn't finally gave up and rushed the other team with water balloons in hand. Bonus: can you find Camp Boyfriend in this picture? It's pretty easy -- he's the one who isn't like 14.
Anyway, when the balloons were gone, the weapon of choice became the swimming pool full of yuck. And the hose. And when the yuck was gone and everyone was soaking wet, the whole group ran down and the jumping into the creek began. Fun times.

Hike to the Falls

This is the annual hike to the falls. It's not a grueling hike, and the end result is worth it.
This is one of the lesser waterfalls off to one side -- these waterfalls are amazing and sooooo pretty.

Here we are at the falls -- we're standing in the water and it's pretty cold. What with it being the result of snow runoff and all. This is part of what we call "The Lakewood Show" because everywhere we went this summer, we were the biggest group, and therefore we dominated everything. Because there are very few of us in the group who are shy and/or quiet. Our motto -- "The Lakewood Show -- number one in six states and Mexico -- twice."

Stuff we did

This is Luke. He is wearing a shower cap covered in whipped cream and we're throwing cheese nips at him to see who can end up with the most crackers stuck to their head. There were like three other kids who were also covered in whipped cream and crackers.
This is Cody, Mandy and Margo. We're at campfire, and we're having a contest to see who can put the most clothespins on their face in a certain amount of time. This is after the contest when everyone wanted a picture of this and the people wearing the clothespins were trying not to pass out from the pain.

Here's Margo again at the Yuck Olympics. Yuck is this stuff that when added to water, turns it into this applesauce-like consistency. In this part, the teams are trying to see who can come up with the best hair style for someone on their team. Margo won. It could have been the clover, it could have been the marbles -- who knows...

Camp! Pictures!

So here is where we had camp in Montana. In the morning it was often cloudy and sort of chilly, as this picture shows. The grassy part is the meadow, and it is much huger than it looks here. Chris was standing at about the middle of it when he took this picture. On this side of the meadow were all of the cabins that we stayed in.

This is the OTHER side of the meadow in the afternoon. You can see the cabin that was in the other picture is also in this one. I know, it's not fascinating commentary, but I can't even tell you how pretty it is there. That's the path we'd take to go sneak our fudgesicles. Mmmmm...fudgesicles.
This is the middle mountain in the group of three from the previous pictures. Camp is in this valley, and so when the sun sets, it reflects off of the mountains to the east. And that is what it is doing here. Sunsets are awesome there, but night is better -- we're so far away from everything and the stars are like you've never seen. It takes forever to get totally dark -- about 11 is when you can see all the stars... have I mentioned how pretty it is there?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Desperate losers, apparently

So today I’m going to give you some examples of why I’m still single. It’s because I’m so picky and I turn down too many men because of what can only be described as my “overly high standards.” It’s obvious that if I want to get married before the age of 30, I’d better rethink this whole “standards” business.

Example 1: There was a guy at my reunion last August who obviously must have graduated with me and who looked vaguely familiar, but I had no idea who he was. He however, knew exactly who I was. He came up and was like “Hey! Amber!” and I said “Hey….Joe?!” because thank god he was wearing a nametag.

So he starts in with the usual what have you been up to stuff and he starts telling me about how he has all these memories of me. Like when he was working in Deer Creek Canyon Park doing community service (did I mention he’d been not only arrested but jailed at least three times? No? Well he had been) and he saw my boyfriend and I hiking through there. Uh, ok. I sorta remember that time (though he doesn’t factor into the memory) and if it’s when I thought it was, that was about six or seven years ago. Ok then. He had also seen me a variety of other times I didn’t remember, and I’m not sure where he found the time to see me everywhere, what with the being in jail and the tattoo sleeves he was rockin’ on both arms – those things are time consuming.

So he spends the remainder of the evening trying to get my number, which amazingly, I avoided. I say amazingly because not only was he persistent, I was also really drunk. As evidenced by Karen’s husband and I getting separated from the group at some point on the way to the next bar and ending up at a color guard convention. But I digress. Because we eventually found the right bar and no one even noticed we were missing. Anyway, apparently my tattooed boyfriend was at the bar as well, and I heard that after I left, he got in a fight and as a result didn’t show up for the next evening’s festivities, which saved me some dodging. Oh and also? Dude? Um, this is a high school reunion, not actual high school and so the fighting thing? Lame.

Example 2: Last year (it was a banner year for losers) I had a guy call my cell 3 different times looking for 3 different girls (or one girl whose name he maybe couldn’t remember) who apparently work(ed) at the stock show and who apparently gave him a bogus number that turned out to be mine.

So like an hour after the 3rd call, I'm totally asleep and he calls back and says that I have a sexy voice and I sound really hot so why didn't I come party with them. Boy, am I a magnet for the quality men or what. When I declined, he informed me that he and his friends "weren't ugly" which still didn't make me want to get out of bed, for a couple of reasons a) he used the word "ain't" a lot, which I hate, b) I don't want to get out of bed -- it's 11 at night and it's cold outside and c) hello? how desperate would I be to be all "well yeah, total random and clearly not desperate and not ugly uneducated stranger, that sounds great! I'll be right over!"

So I went back to sleep and that’s when I had the best dream about how I totally went off on this one unbelievable skank that I hate and smacked her across the face and she cried. It was so cool. But that’s a whole other story.

Oh, and while writing this, I’ve been rethinking the whole “standards” thing, and my conclusion? They’re staying right where they are. I might even raise them, just for fun. Because I’m extreme like that – I live my life on the edge and that’s just how I roll.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Official Interview Answers... questions provided by Kiki. Thanks Kiki!

1. You can either eat only cockroaches and orange juice for one week or rats and milk. Which one do you pick? (You have to pick one)
I would say cockroaches and orange juice. Gross, but the lesser of two evils. Plus, I’m lactose (and most likely rat) intolerant.

2. What is your biggest fear?
Emotionally, we don’t have time for the list. : ) But something that always gives me a physical fear reaction? Snakes. Ugh.

3. What's your favorite alcoholic drink? Champagne, hands down. My second favorite alcoholic drink is something containing alcohol that I can drink.

4. Do you speak any other languages? If not what do you think biblioteca means? I don’t speak any other languages fluently, but I do know some Spanish and since I am both an avid reader AND a word nerd, I know that biblioteca means “library.” *snorts and pushes up glasses*

5. Shag, Marry, & Push off a Cliff; President Bush, Clinton, Al Gore
I’m so sure. Why didn’t I get Christian Bale? But if I must, here it is.

I would shag President Bush because he needs a good sex scandal to distract from, well, himself.
I’d marry President Clinton, because then I could go ahead and do whatever (and whoever) I wanted to do and let him pay the bills. Plus, I think we’d have some pretty interesting chats in the evenings during cocktail hour.
I’d totally push Al Gore over a cliff because he is one of the most annoying people ever. And plus, as he bounced off the rocks, we could confirm once and for all that he’s a robot because he’d be shorting out all the way down. And that would be awesome.

Want to play?The Official Interview Game Rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying interview me.
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Another work-free Friday

It's a Friday. It's hot out. The boss is out of town. We're bored. Marlene has a convertible. What to do, what to do... Since it IS Colorado and since it's basically against the law to stay inside when it's so nice outside (unless you're hungover and the sun we have like every day hurts your eyes) we decided to go for a drive. For those of you who know Colorado, this is a path and a river near Rollinsville. I'm from here, and I'm pretty sure I've never been there before. And probably couldn't find it again, seeing as I fell asleep on the way back. What? I worked hard for like three hours that morning. Reading everyone's blogs takes time and effort, you know.

Actually, the river is Beaver Creek. So yes, I guess it's a creek, and yes, I imagine it ends up somewhere up in the Vail/Beaver Creek area. This is all guesswork on my part. I guess I should know more about my own state, right? But in my defense, there are a lot of side roads and little towns and this is one of those places. Oh, and also, I was standing in the creek to take the rushing water picture, and it was kind of chilly, since it's all snow runoff. And I saw a hummingbird. It was cute.

So four hours and a nice sunburn later, I went back to work. If by work you mean "went upstairs, got my stuff and went home." Because as we've discussed before, I am quite possibly the Best. Employee. Ever. Seriously -- do the tank top, hat and sunglasses not scream "professional" to you? It was no wonder I had to go over to Sally & Joe's when I got home and lay on one of the chaise lounges on their back patio drinking wine. I have a hard life -- you can totally tell that by this REALLY PRETTY picture, right?